47.0601 Duties of law enforcement officer to victim of domestic or family violence – Required notice to victim.

Print This

(a) A law enforcement officer who responds to an allegation of domestic or family violence shall use all reasonable means to protect the victim and prevent further violence, including but not limited to:

(1) Taking the action necessary to provide for the safety of the victim and any family or household member.

(2) Confiscating any weapon involved in the alleged domestic or family violence.

(3) Transporting or obtaining transportation for the victim and any child to a shelter.

(4) Assisting the victim in removing essential personal effects.

(5) Assisting the victim and any child in obtaining medical treatment, including obtaining transportation to a medical facility.

(6) Giving the victim immediate and adequate notice of the rights of victims and of the remedies and services available to victims of domestic or family violence.

(b) As part of the notice required by(a)(6), the law enforcement officer shall give a written notice to the adult victim substantially as follows:

“If you are the victim of domestic or family violence and you believe that law enforcement protection is needed for your physical safety, you have the right to request that the officer assist in providing for your safety, including asking for an emergency order for protection. You may also request that the officer assist you in obtaining your essential personal effects and locating and taking you to a safe place, including but not limited to a designated meeting place for a shelter, a family member’s or a friend’s residence, or a similar place of safety. If you are in need of medical treatment, you have the right to request that the officer assist you in obtaining medical treatment. You may request a copy of the report at no cost from the law enforcement department. You may ask the prosecuting attorney to file a criminal complaint. You also have the right to file a petition n the High Court requesting an order for protection from domestic or family violence which could include any of the following orders:

(1) An order enjoining your abuser from threatening to commit or committing further acts of domestic or family violence;

(2) An order prohibiting your abuser from harassing, annoying, telephoning, contacting or otherwise communicating with you, directly or indirectly;

(3) An order removing your abuser from your residence;

(4) An order directing your abuser to stay away from your residence, school, place of employment, or any other specified place frequented by you and another family or household member;

(5) An order prohibiting your abuser from using or possessing any firearm or other weapon specified by the Court;

(6) An order granting you possession and use of the automobile and other essential personal effects;

(7) An order granting you custody of your child or children;

(8) An order denying your abuser visitation;

(9) An order specifying arrangements for visitation, including requiring supervised visitation; and

(10) An order requiring your abuser to pay certain costs and fees, such as rent or mortgage payments, child support payments, medical expenses, expenses for shelter, court costs, and attorney?s fees.

The forms you need to obtain an order for protection are available from the Department of Human and Social Services or the Office of the Attorney General. The resources are available through the appropriate government agencies for information relating to domestic family violence, treatment of injuries, and places of safety and shelters. You also have the right to seek reimbursement for losses suffered as a result of the abuse, including medical and moving expenses, loss of earnings, or support, and other expenses for injuries sustained and damage to your property. This can be done without an attorney in small claims court if the total amount claimed is less than $3,000.”

(c) The written notice:

(1) Must not include the addresses of shelters, unless the location is public knowledge.

(2) Must be available in Samoan and English and provided to the victim in his or her native language, if practicable, when the native language of the victim is not Samoan or English.

History: 2004, PL 28-16.